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Spa Test Day Notebook

Vincent Wouters’ notebook from the Spa 24 Test Day…

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Photo: Vincent Wouters

***On track action was interrupted ten times throughout the day. Most stoppages were caused by minor incidents. Early on in the day several cars (Audi R8 LMS, Lamborghini Huracán GT3 and BMW Z4 GT3) exceeded the 107db sound limit. The teams involved were able to solve the problem and continue their programs.

***Almost the entire field was present at Spa today, with no fewer then 56 cars posting a time throughout the day. The AM Cup entered Team Parker Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra was the most productive car of the day, covering 134 laps during the eight hours of track time. Most of the top teams averaged around 90 laps.

***While Paul Ricard and Spa Francorchamps don’t appear to be the same type of track at first sight, they are both classified in the same category in SRO’s tier BoP system. No big changes are expected ahead of the 24 Hours of Spa. A new method to BoP the turbo powered cars is also being evaluated, especially now more manufacturers are opting for turbocharged engines.

***Bentley Team HTP used the two Bentley Continental GT3s it campaigns in the ADAC GT Masters for the test day at Spa. The German GT3 sprint series visited Spa over the weekend. Meanwhile, M-Sport had a third Continental GT3 on site in order to gather the maximum amount of data.

***The Spa-Francorchamps track recently underwent a couple of changes. The inside of the first turn of the Bus Stop combination has been paved with asphalt in an effort to keep cars from losing complete control whenever something happens in the braking zone for the final turns.

***Additionally an electronic flag system has been installed around the track. Several big LED screens are now positioned at key locations to warn drivers of current track conditions. The system was first introduced in Formula One and offers great visibility, especially during the night.

***In between the Paul Ricard 1000km and Spa test day, Lamborghini and Squadra Corse were also carrying out in introduction test for potential customers in Japan. A similar opportunity was organized in the U.S. a couple of weeks ago at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

***The privately developed Emil Frey Jaguar G3 was one the surprise front-runners in the afternoon session with the 11th quickest time. The car is currently in its fourth year of competition and the team is finally getting some satisfying result.

***Emil Frey will also be running and developing a Lexus RC F GT3 in the Nürburgring based VLN series starting next month. Both programs are completely separate and the Swiss team has no plans to discontinue the Jaguar effort.

***Besides the Pro Cup entered Oman Racing Team Aston Martin V12 Vantage, Motorbase Performance also ran a second car at Spa today. While it was mainly there to gather data, the team isn’t ruling out fielding a second Vantage next month.

Vincent Wouters (@VinceWouters) is a Belgium-based sports car racing reporter, providing coverage primarily of the Blancpain GT Series.


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